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Andamooka Precious Stones Field

ILUA sees new areas of land open for opal mining.

The Andamooka Precious Stones Field Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA), signed by the Kokatha Aboriginal Corporation and the South Australian Minister for Energy and Mining, came into operation on 7 May 2019.

Figure 1 Andamooka Precious Stones Field ILUA.
Figure 1 Andamooka Precious Stones Field ILUA.

The ILUA divides the Andamooka Precious Stones Field into areas A and B, with different conditions applying to each (Fig. 1).

Area A comprises land already significantly impacted by opal mining operations as well as new prospective areas that have been approved by the Kokatha People. Opal miners are able to sign up to the ILUA (by signing an acceptance deed) at no cost and obtain access to land immediately upon obtaining the relevant permit or tenement under the Opal Mining Act 1995.

Area B includes all parts of the Andamooka Precious Stones Field outside of Area A. It also includes the following prohibited areas:

  • areas of heritage importance to the Kokatha People
  • 25 m of either side from the edge of any creeks and watercourses, and from the base of any sand dunes (but not including ground that has previously been disturbed by opal mining operations and tracks used to provide access to opal mining operations).

Opal prospecting and mining operations within Area B need to be authorised by separate agreements negotiated by opal miners under the Opal Mining Act or the Commonwealth Native Title Act 1993, or by a determination from the Environment, Resources and Development Court.

The ILUA is registered on the Register of Indigenous Land Use Agreements under the Commonwealth Native Title Act.

Further information and the acceptance deed are available on the Department for Energy and Mining website.

Acceptance deeds are also available at the Andamooka Post Office (at the Dukes Bottlehouse Motel) and the Coober Pedy Opal Fields Office (TAFE Building, Hutchinson Street).

– Andrew Moll, June 2019

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